iSCSI is a nice fit for many SMBs because, as IT Business Edge blogger Art Cole points out, it's a "tremendously effective approach for low-cost SANs, as long as you are willing to give up some of the advanced functionality and network flexibility of higher-end solutions like Fibre Channel and Infiniband."
Because it can be implemented with existing Ethernet network cards and switches, Cole says, it reduces hardware costs and does not require a specialized skill set.
Among the newest iSCSI products from which SMBs can choose: Hitachi's Simple Modular Storage (SMS) Model 100, an iSCSI array with auto-configuration software, wizard-based setup that is optimized for Windows environments with support for Microsoft's Simple SAN program. According to InfoStor Magazine, pricing for the SMS line ranges from $5,000 to $15,000.
Another option: LSI Corporation is adding an iSCSI-based storage system geared toward SMBs to its product family called Simplicity, which already includes SAS and Fibre Channel interface options.
And Adaptec is rolling out the Snap Server 700i, a dedicated iSCSI appliance that combines SAS and SATA drives, reports eChannelLine. A consultant interviewed in this article suggests that the appliance will work best for SMBs with two classes of storage -- frequently used data and information that does not need to be accessed often -- that are typically segregated from each other.